HomeNASCAR NewsTop 10 Notable Moments At World Wide Technology Raceway

Top 10 Notable Moments At World Wide Technology Raceway

10 Notable Moments At World Wide Technology Raceway: This weekend, World Wide Technology Raceway is set to host two thrilling NASCAR events that promise to deliver action and unforgettable moments for racing fans. On Saturday, the Toyota 200 will bring the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series to the track, followed by the highly anticipated Enjoy Illinois 300, part of the NASCAR Cup Series, on Sunday. Both races will showcase top-tier talent and intense competition at one of the premier racing venues in the country.

Evel Knievel’s Daring Jumps (1972)

On June 24 and 25, 1972, legendary stuntman Evel Knievel electrified audiences at the then-named St. Louis International Raceway with a pair of death-defying motorcycle jumps. Knievel arrived in dramatic fashion, piloting his private plane and using the drag strip as a makeshift runway. He then mounted his Harley-Davidson XR-750 and successfully leaped over 10 cars on each of the two days, solidifying his status as a daredevil icon and leaving a lasting impression on the racing community.

Installation of the Wallace Grandstand (1999)

In a significant enhancement of the spectator experience, Gateway Motorsports Park installed the Wallace Grandstand in turns 1 and 2 of the oval track before the 1999 racing season. This addition was named in honor of the Wallace brothers—Rusty, Mike, and Kenny—who are celebrated figures in motorsports and were born and raised in the St. Louis region. The grandstand increased the track’s seating capacity, allowing more fans to witness the thrilling races and celebrate the contributions of the Wallace family to the sport.

Controversial Finish: Edwards vs. Keselowski (2010)

The July 2010 Nationwide Series race at Gateway was marked by a dramatic and controversial finish that has become a memorable moment in NASCAR history. On the final lap, Carl Edwards and Brad Keselowski, embroiled in a heated rivalry, battled fiercely for the lead. Exiting Turn 4 onto the front-stretch, Edwards turned Keselowski, sending him into a spin and claiming the checkered flag for himself. The incident sparked widespread debate and led to NASCAR penalizing Edwards with a 60-point deduction and a $25,000 fine, underscoring the intense competitive spirit and occasional controversies that define the sport.

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Addition of a Second Nationwide Series Race (2010)

In 2010, Gateway Motorsports Park expanded its schedule by adding a second Nationwide Series race, following the closure of Memphis Motorsports Park. This addition provided fans with more high-octane action and highlighted Gateway’s growing prominence in the racing world. However, this year also marked a temporary hiatus for NASCAR events at the track, as Dover Motorsports later announced it would not seek sanctioning for its three events at Gateway in 2011. Despite this setback, the track’s legacy continued to build through other motorsports activities and community events.

Local Ownership Under Curtis Francois (2013)

A new chapter in Gateway Motorsports Park’s history began on May 1, 2013, when Curtis Francois finalized the purchase of the facility. This transition to local ownership under Francois brought renewed energy and vision to the track. Francois, a former racecar driver and real estate developer, committed to revitalizing the park and enhancing its offerings. His leadership set the stage for significant improvements and the return of major racing events, strengthening Gateway’s role as a premier motorsports destination.

Return of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (2014)

Under the new ownership of Curtis Francois, the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series made a triumphant return to Gateway Motorsports Park on June 14, 2014. This marked the first NASCAR event at the track since 2010, signaling a revival of high-profile racing at the venue. Bubba Wallace emerged victorious, capturing the checkered flag and making history as the first winner under the track’s new management. This event reinvigorated the local racing scene and showcased Gateway’s capability to host top-tier motorsports competitions.

10 Notable Moments At World Wide Technology Raceway

Renaming to World Wide Technology Raceway (2019)

In a move that symbolized a new era for the facility, Gateway Motorsports Park was renamed World Wide Technology Raceway on April 17, 2019. The renaming followed the acquisition of naming rights by World Wide Technology, a leading technology service provider. This partnership brought additional resources and visibility to the track, fostering further developments and positioning the Raceway as a cutting-edge venue in the racing industry. The rebranding reflected a commitment to innovation and excellence, aligning with World Wide Technology’s mission.

Addition to the NASCAR Cup Series Schedule (2022)

A landmark moment for World Wide Technology Raceway came on September 15, 2021, when it was announced that the track would join the NASCAR Cup Series schedule for the first time in 2022. The inclusion of WWT Raceway in the prestigious series marked a significant achievement and a testament to the facility’s growing reputation. Fans responded enthusiastically, with 5,000 ticket deposits placed within the first 24 hours of the announcement. The inaugural NASCAR Cup Series event was set for June 5, 2022, promising an exciting addition to the racing calendar and drawing national attention to the track.

Major Facility Upgrades Announced (2022)

In anticipation of the NASCAR Cup Series event and to enhance the overall experience, World Wide Technology Raceway announced a comprehensive $40 million upgrade plan in 2022. One of the first improvements was the extension of the Steel And Foam Energy Reduction (SAFER) barriers along the oval track’s backstretch wall, replacing the original “bump out” fencing with a continuous swing gate at NASCAR’s request. Additional upgrades included modernizing the oval track tower’s rooftop and suites, adding infield camping sites, rejuvenating team areas, and remodeling concession and midway spaces. These enhancements aimed to elevate the venue’s infrastructure and fan experience, with phased completion scheduled by early 2025.

10 Notable Moments At World Wide Technology Raceway

Record-Breaking Victory by Scott Dixon (2023)

The 2023 Bommarito Automotive Group 500 at World Wide Technology Raceway witnessed a historic performance by Scott Dixon. Dixon dominated the race, achieving a 22.2256-second margin of victory, which shattered the previous record set by Juan Pablo Montoya in 2000 with an 11.804-second lead. This impressive feat highlighted Dixon’s exceptional skill and endurance, adding a remarkable chapter to the Raceway’s storied history. The record-breaking victory underscored the level of competition and excitement that fans can expect at this premier racing venue.

News in Brief: 10 Notable Moments At World Wide Technology Raceway

World Wide Technology Raceway continues to be a cornerstone of American motorsports, with a rich history marked by unforgettable events and significant milestones. From Evel Knievel’s daring jumps in 1972 to the installation of the Wallace Grandstand in 1999, the track has been a stage for remarkable feats and emotional moments. The controversial finish between Carl Edwards and Brad Keselowski in 2010, the return of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series in 2014, and the renaming to World Wide Technology Raceway in 2019 all highlight the track’s evolution and resilience.

As the Toyota 200 and Enjoy Illinois 300 take place this weekend, fans can expect to witness new chapters being written in the storied history of World Wide Technology Raceway. These events not only showcase the best of NASCAR but also continue the tradition of excellence and excitement that has long been associated with this iconic venue.

Our Reader’s Queries

Q. Who owns World Wide Technology Raceway?

A. Curtis Francois holds ownership of World Wide Technology Raceway (WWTR), situated east of downtown St. Louis in Madison, Illinois.

Q. How old is World Wide Technology Raceway?

A. Established in 1967 originally as a drag racing facility, Illinois motorsports enthusiasts found a dedicated venue to witness racing action. However, following its acquisition in 1994, the track underwent significant transformation. The previous road course and drag racing layouts were dismantled to make way for the construction of the current oval layout.

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Aditya Raghuwanshi
Aditya Raghuwanshi
Aditya Raghuwanshi is a sports journalist at SlicksAndSticks.com, specializing in NASCAR. With extensive experience covering live races, he has explored the careers of prominent racers such as Kyle Busch, Kyle Larson, Chase Elliott, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Aditya possesses in-depth knowledge of the NASCAR world, providing insightful analysis and comprehensive coverage of the sport


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